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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 48315
Last updated: 24 May 2016
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Date:19-JUL-1969
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic B52 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Boeing B-52D-25-BW Stratofortress
Owner/operator:USAF 70th BW
Registration: 55-0676
C/n / msn: 464023
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:4
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:U-Tapao RTNAF -   Thailand
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:U-Tapao RTNAF, Thailand
Destination airport:
Narrative:
B-52 55-0676 (70th BW) lost July 19, 1969 in a take-off accident in heavy rain storms from U-Tapao RTNAF, Thailand. The plane was taking off and had passed the point of no return and tried aborting because of not being able to see runway speed markers and crashed just short of the hammer head road near the north end of runway 36 . Both forward landing gears collapsed and the a/c seemed to break at the front wheel well. Smoke then flames started pouring out. The aircraft caught fire on impact but the crew of six manged to escape safely.

Meanwhile, the rescue helicopter (HH-43B Huskie 59-1562) was coming in to fight the fire on its second load of fire retardant and was not attempting to assist in saving the crew only to fight the fire. Normally in a B-52D-model, the tail gunner blows the turret and exits out the back of the aircraft. However, either because of the surrounding fuel fire or damage caused by the impact, he did not/could not blow the turret and instead went forward and exited out the rear wheel well and was picked up by a field maintance truck (FMS). He did blow the turret and then he stood up and threw out a rope but did not use the rope he jumped instead not bothering to use the rope he had just thrown. I was the closest to the incident because I was in my pickup watching the aircraft takeoff. I was sitting in my truck not more than 500 feet from the scene on Hammer Head Rd. Tragically, the HH-43B Huskie crew saw the turret in place and assumed the tail gunner was still in the aircraft. On approaching the crash site to locate the gunner (the Huskies would use their rotor down wash to clear a path through the flames), all 108 bombs on the B-52D detonated due to being engulfed in flames and took the Huskie crew with them, killing two and seriously injuring one. There were also 2 Thai guards in a makeshift bunker on the ground who were guarding an entryway to the tarmac that were killed. Like I said I was the closest to the incident I got out of there like a bat out of hell and when I came back to see the results the bunker was completely gone. No makeshift bunker could stand with 108 500lbs going off that close to their position. The helicopter was directly over the B-52D when it exploded in a mass detonation and was thrown about a half mile south of the B-52. It landed upside down in soaked grass just off the center of the runway. It was reported that undetonated 500 lbs were found down at the beach 10 miles away.

NOTE: This aircraft is often confused with a completely different B-52 56-0676, which shot down a North Vietnamese AF MiG-21 on December 23 1972, continued in service until 1983, and is now preserved and on display at Fairchild AFB, Spokane, Washington



Sources:
http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1955.html
http://www.ejection-history.org.uk/Aircraft_by_Type/b52_stratofortress.htm
http://www.thai-aviation.net/files/Air_Accidents.pdf
Den Ardinger - eyewitness
Charles Harris - Eyewitness - Chaz1x@yahoo.com


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
07-Nov-2008 10:15 ASN archive Added
30-Oct-2009 09:35 JINX Updated
19-Jun-2012 13:31 71.85.208.176 Updated [Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
08-Feb-2013 00:37 Vulture Updated [Narrative]
17-Feb-2013 19:55 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
17-Feb-2013 19:55 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
17-Feb-2013 22:06 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
17-Feb-2013 22:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
10-Sep-2013 15:21 Huskie001 Updated [Narrative]
18-Mar-2014 14:56 74.231.186.200 Updated [Narrative]
18-Mar-2014 19:25 74.231.186.200 Updated [Narrative]
27-Sep-2014 14:43 shicks49 Updated [Location, Departure airport, Narrative]
03-Apr-2015 08:53 rob47ert Updated [Narrative]
03-Jun-2015 20:12 DenArdinger Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]
26-Dec-2015 17:11 Charles Harris Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
Number of views: 3023

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